Leading the way in sustainable transport

1 year ago Tue 22nd Nov 2022

October 13, 2022 marks two years of Newport Bus operating Wales’ first electric bus fleet.

Newport Bus electric vehicle with Greener Future in the destination blindAt our celebration event at ICC Wales, we set out our ambitious plans to be the UK’s first fully electric bus and coach service by 2023 and to make Newport the first city in the UK with a fully electric bus fleet by the end of 2023.

Newport Transport has also set out the development of its coach division with the introduction in Wales of the first electric coaches. The fleet will include four fully electric Yutong TCE12 coaches, which will begin operating in the March of 2023.

The delivery of a further 12 Yutong E10 & E12 electric buses in the same period will take the electric vehicle (EV) bus fleet to 44 electric buses. The expansion will make up 44 per cent of Newport Transport’s overall bus fleet, the largest ratio of electric to diesel buses in a fleet outside of London.

Scott Pearson speaking to the audienceScott Pearson, Managing Director at Newport Transport, said: “I am passionate about quality public transport, but I am even more passionate about the environment. We must make these kinds of changes now, for our planet, and keep moving things forward despite funding being tight. At Newport Transport, we’re showing what’s possible, despite being a smaller municipal operator.

“We are leading the way in Wales, with our EV fleet improving air quality and CO2 emissions across the city and surrounding areas [1]. With the introduction of an electric coach fleet, we’ll be continuing to provide innovative, environmentally sustainable transport solutions for the city and improving air quality nationwide.

“We, at Newport Transport are excited for further collaboration with the team at Zenobē and Pelican Yutong, as we work towards our vision of a net zero fleet.”

Since May 2021, the current fleet of 32 buses has saved 532 tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of the work of 53,000 trees. It is projected when Newport Transport reaches a 44% EV fleet this will rise to 1068 tonnes of CO2 saved per annum and a 33% reduction in operating costs.

Jane Mudd Leader ofthe council for Newport City Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said: “When we started discussions about the electrification of the fleet, I never imagined that two years on, we would be celebrating the transformation of the fleet moving at such pace.

“We thank all of the staff for their dedication, in particular the drivers who have delivered for Newport during recent difficult years for us all. We are committed to making these changes for the people of our city, and look forward to Newport being the first city in the UK to use a fully electric bus fleet.”

The company’s aim to be net zero by 2028 is on course. This is boosted by the announcement of the 16 new charging points in partnership with Zenobē, which will enable all the electric buses to be on the road at the same time and provide greater charging flexibility for future fleet expansion.

Bradley Fox, Zenobe EnergyBradley Fox, Business Development Manager at Zenobē, said: “Newport Bus is the first bus operator in the UK using this model and technology. Advances in the electrification of buses have been made as a result of the company’s commitment to environmental innovation.

“Our work with the team at Newport Bus to develop the plan for the infrastructure and implementation of the batteries and chargers at the depot has resulted in Zenobē developing the technology across the UK, Europe and further afield.

Chris Murell Pelican Bus and Coaches EngineeringChris Murrell, Group After-sales manager at Pelican Engineering Yutong UK, said: “Every electric bus on the road is a step in the right direction. The environmental effect goes beyond just the emissions of the bus – it is one less engine being produced and maintained, meaning a saving of 3 to 400 gallons of oil every year.

“It was a proud occasion to be at the ICC celebrating Newport Transport’s achievements, and we look forward to a long future collaborating with Scott and the team.”

“We’re now supporting 700 electric buses across the world as a result of this success, and we look forward to our partnership continuing.”

Newport Transport’s six Stage Environmental Action plan also aims to implement ambitious changes across the business, and within the community, which will see them achieve stage five by 2024. This includes a full digital heating management system across the Corporation Road depot, saving 97 tonnes of CO2 over 12 months, and a significant increase in the solar generation of electric power from behind the meter into the EV fleet (estimated at 45,600 kW/h per annum).

The organisation is also working to improve green credentials within the community, by working with Careers Wales to go into local schools to promote green jobs of the future and supporting staff to travel to work via free staff bus, reducing pressure on the city's infrastructure and further reducing emissions.

The success of the electrification was recently recognised at the Route One awards in Birmingham, where Newport Transport took home the prize for Environment; an industry standard of excellence.

Route One Award winner badgeReflecting on their win, Scott Pearson said: “We are thrilled to receive industry recognition for creating environmentally sustainable transport solutions.

"This success is a direct result of the hard work of our entire Newport Transport team, from our drivers to engineers and our delivery partners.

“We are proud to be leading the way and making Newport the first city in the UK with a fully electric bus fleet and electric coaches by 2023. We are fully committed to making our city, Newport greener, smarter and safer with every step we take and in doing so showing what's possible in the industry."

[1] Newport City Council 2020 Air Quality Progress Report https://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Transport-and-Streets/Pollution-and-Noise-Control/2020-Air-Quality-Progress-Report.pdf

Rear of three electric buses